1/1/1998 NOTES From The White County Historical Society Library

White County Historical Society Library
by Charlene Shields!
This article appeared in THE CARMI TIMES
January 1, 1998

Week One of the

Boultinghouse kin in this county

From the archives of the historical society comes a story turned in some years ago by Boultinghouse kin in this county.

This article was written in longhand in 1938 by John Sherman Boultinghouse.

Part of this story appears in the 1883 "History of White County, Illinois."

"One hundred sixty-five years ago this December 1938, this story begins on the anniversary of the dumping of the cargo of tea in the Boston Harbor that started the war between America and England.

"The names of the three vessels that carried the tea were Eleanor, Beaver and Dartmouth.

The tea was thrown overboard a few days before Christmas 1773.

On one of these vessels came two young men as passengers from England to make their home in the New World: my great-grandfather, John Boultinghouse, and his brother, Joseph Boultinghouse.

"...After fighting in the Revolution, John Boultinghouse went into the Carolinas, married and had a large family.

About 1813, he and his family, along with two other families, emigrated to Southern Illinois.

They settled a few miles northwest of what is now Grayville.

After deciding where to make their home, they cleared land and built log houses.

"My great-grandfather's oldest son was selected by all the families to herd and take care of all the stock they had among them.

While looking after the stock, he was killed by a small band of five Indians.

After slaying him, the Indians scooped out a hole in the ground and placed the body in an upright position.

Then they piled wood across the arms and legs and set fire to the body.

Then they killed a polecat and placed it near his body as a message of what the red man thinks of a white man.

"When the young man did not return home as usual, the family started a search for him and found his body.

The stock, his pony and the dog, Old Beve, were all gone.

The family buried the body where it was found, and today this place is called Boultinghouse Prairie.

"Supposing the Indians to be on a war path, the people hurried home, gathered their families together and all went to a block house, which was located on what is now known as Big Prairie, near Epworth.

After staying there for some time and not hearing of any trouble, they returned to their little settlement which they had started.

"Sometime after this, my great-grandfather was out hunting with a neighbor, and they came upon this band of five Indians in possession of the murdered boy's pony, his dog and part of the stock.

Being able to talk the Indian language, my great-grandfather asked where they got the stock, pony and dog.

They said they got it when they were on a war path, but now they were at peace.

My great-grandfather, being a man of few words, said, "You may be at peace, but I am not.

" A battle began in which he killed two Indians, a neighbor killed two Indians and the fifth one ran.

In the time it took to reload their muzzle-loading and flint-lock guns, the fifth Indian had jumped into the Little Wabash River and swam away.

My great-grandfather kissed the dog, Old Beve, who caught the Indian and fought with him in the water until the Indian drowned.

So that was the price the Indians paid for the brutal murder of Joseph Boultinghouse. This happened in April 1813."

To be continued January 8, 1998

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